An enthusiastic community of lovers has been undercut by moments of hesitation, “Am I okay?” having all that creates of an unqualified pleasure.
It stars Dakota Johnson, who is gifted enough to rise above mediocre films (“Fifty Shades of Gray”) and delve into stellar films (“The Lost Daughter”). This is the film debut for co-director Tig Notaro and her wife, Stephanie Allynne, and for “SNL” writer Lauren Pomerantz. And its appeal will keep viewers hooked on it throughout, even if it ends up echoing some of the uncertainty that is plaguing Johnson’s character Lucy.
Despite being 32 years old, Lucy behaves like a shy teenager, sensitive in every way. She calls her drinks “tequiles” and her muffins “bluebs.” She spends her days working at a luxury spa in LA, and her nights at bars are packed with people who look like Dakota Johnson. However, she was shocked when someone suggested she wear an off-the-shoulder top and she’s currently trying to decide if she’s gay using Google quizzes that want to know if she’s gay. Did she listen to Tegan and Sara?
She’s close to her longtime best friend Jane (Sonoya Mizuno, “Devs”), but now she’s confessed—to both Jane and herself—that she might not really love guys. boy Jane suggested she date. Like everyone else in her life, Lucy is in a state of peak anxiety about her gender identity and wants to deal with it both now and never.
“There is no time to figure this out,” says Jane, and there is plenty of room for exploration and insight into that premise. Pomerantz is based on the story of her own experience 15 years ago, and she tackles Lucy’s journey with kind-hearted empathy. But the world has changed so much in recent years, that the way these characters approach sex can be surprisingly limited. This is especially true when dialogue and scripts are written to represent specific concepts: Friendship, Experimentation, Shyness, Maturity.
The asymmetrical approach to the characters enhances the film’s sense of unevenness. Lucy and Jane are designed to be real people, and the tensions in their friendship may be familiar to many. In particular, Johnson captures the tense nature of a changing relationship with characteristic grace. When Jane tells Lucy she’s moving to London for work, we see Lucy’s expression falter even as she tries to regroup: “Great! That is great. This is incredible,” she said, in a doomed attempt to allay her own fears while sharing her best friend’s excitement. And when Jane is traumatized by Lucy’s withdrawal, her boyfriend (Jermaine Fowler, “Coming 2 America”) offers the thoughtful advice we all want from our significant other.
So it actually feels a bit jarring when the characters around them are sketched out more as an icon or even a caricature. Jane’s boss (Sean Hayes) is eccentric and out of touch; Her colleague Kat (Molly Gordon, “Shiva Baby”) is an eccentric and obsessed with trends. Lucy’s first potential girlfriend, Brit (Kiersey Clemons), emerges so powerfully that she feels two-dimensional, and the attractive Clemons goes unused.
That said, there’s a captivating and understandable scenario surrounding Lucy’s more volatile approaches to life. (There’s also a funny backstory, as evidenced by Notaro’s amusing cameo as the owner of a hammock-based sentimental retreat.) And the movie looks great, thanks to its clever use. LA languages, sharp editing from Kayla Emter (“Hustlers”), and crisp, lovely cinematography by Cristina Dunlap (who also shot Johnson’s other Sundance film, “Cha Cha Real Smooth”).
But the movie isn’t quite as comfortable until Lucy finally finds her footing, at the end. Here, as she opens up to life, we realize how invested we are in her success, If this team wants to reconnect to catch up with us on our next adventures. Follow Lucy’s? That would be better than OK.
“I agree?” world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
https://www.thewrap.com/am-i-ok-film-review-dakota-johnson-tig-notaro/ Dakota Johnson questions some nuances of sex in passionate best friend comedy